shop the clé cyber monday event like a pro
by clé tile | published: Dec 10, 2021
(above) design: Erika Salum / photo: Hamee Ha Photography
We all know how to shop sales, right? You see, you pick, you click, you sit back and wait till the boxes hit your doormat. Sometimes you’re disappointed when your size or color is sold out, but mostly, you’re in luck, and you feel good when you score that item for less.
Tile–particularly of the artisanal variety–is a little more complicated than that, of course. It requires advanced planning, doing your homework, and reading the fine print.
When you have just 24 hours to make your decision (that’s how long our event lasts), it means you’ll need to have all your facts and decisions squared away as much as possible before the event begins. But it’ll be worth it when you’re seeing your new space in all its glory (and reveling in the knowledge that you got it for less).
Here’s how to shop clé’s cyber monday event like a pro.
- Plan. Pick a place to start.
- Find your inspiration. Now, take it further.
- Get focused.
- Have your contractor measure your space.
- Find your new best friend: your tile installer–someone who has experience with the tile you are considering.
- Do your homework: you may love it, but be honest with yourself: is this tile really for you, your project, and the way you live?
- Order carefully, but order soon (you’re on the clock with our event).
- Cultivate patience: a pro tip for life, but for these times in particular. Be prepared for shipping and delivery delays.
- Prepare for delivery. (Hint: it’s a little more involved than getting a package from Amazon.)
- Install, sit back, enjoy (knowing that you got more–for less.).
Read on for more pro tips.
(left) design: Heidi Lachapelle Interiors / photo: Erin Little; (center) design: Jenna Barton Interiors / photo: Chase Daniel; (right) photo: Laurie Frankel
The fun stuff.
- Pick a place to start. We’ve found a couple of different approaches to this.
- Have a project in mind and the role of tile in that project. Whole house? Kitchen renovation? Will your tile be the hero for your design, or will it carry through a motif that’s found elsewhere in the house? While a functional approach (“I just need a backsplash”) is a fine approach, don’t let this limit you: turn that functional need into a “wow” moment.
- But there’s another, slightly more counterintuitive (and dare we say, even more creative) approach: fall in love with a tile, and then figure out how to use it. That powder room that’s been languishing a bit? Mudroom or laundry room? The bedroom? That odd alcove you’ve never quite figured out how to work with? That studio/cave you built during the pandemic?
- Find your inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, or at cletile.com. What makes your heart beat faster? What can’t you get out of your head? That’s what we call a good start.
- Then take it further. Think about how you can maximize your use of tile in the space to amp up your design. Take tile up to the ceiling (or put it ON the ceiling), or use it to enclose an exhaust fan, or a bar? While we’re fans of metals and woods, there’s nothing quite like variegated handcrafted tile to add character and soul to a space. Remember that grout can be a major design element, elevating the humblest of tiles to major design statements. Whatever you do, do it with gusto and conviction. As we say, design emboldened.
- Narrow your focus (a bit). Consider what kinds of clé tiles fit your project. We offer a wide variety of tile, so we’ve grouped them into three categories–classic, heritage, and maison clé–based on their characteristics, their use, and how much TLC they’ll take.
- Classic: these are the affordable staples of the tile world: think subway, slate, penny rounds, and even carrara. We like to refer to this collection as the ‘jeans and t-shirt’ of tiles: a great way to mix high and low. Dress them up with some handcrafted artisanal offerings, or keep them pared down to their simple form. It’s all about how they’re installed. These are great tiles for first-time home buyers, those on a budget, or those looking for that high-low look. These tiles offer a more consistent look and feel for those concerned about variation.
- Heritage: the bulk of our collection: our zelliges, cements, terracottas, brick, and some of our stones. Our artisan tiles embrace the imperfections of the hand–think sun-dried clay rolled into blocks and cut by hand, wood-fired tile, or pigments hand-poured into intricate molds. These processes carry the mark of skilled artisans who have perfected a craft passed down through generations–frequently reflecting the traditional heritage of the country. The mark of the artisan means that each tile embodies variation in tone and surface. Typically created in small batches, this is tile to be treasured for its hand-hewn quality with no two tiles perfectly alike. Due to the handcrafted nature of the tile, we recommend hiring an experienced tile installer familiar with these materials.
- Maison clé: this is where art meets tile. Our exclusive tile offerings feature collaborations with artists from across the globe, and we very much consider these pieces works of art. consider these for accent walls or the focal point of a room. Much like art, they require skillful handling–in this case, installation by a highly experienced installer. These are the boundary-breaking tiles that have put clé at the forefront of tile design.
- Find the right installer. This is the person who will make or break your project. Make sure they have experience with the kinds of tile you’re installing and the kind of installation you have in mind.
- Measure. Then measure again. (Have your contractor do it for you). After that, add at least 15% to your total–it’s what we recommend to compensate for breakages and some of the additional variation that’s inherent in artisanal tile.
You might even want to order a little extra to give you additional breathing room. The last thing you want to do is to have to order again–which will delay your project and cost you more (most of our tile has order minimums.) And most importantly, due to the handcrafted nature of our tile, it will certainly not be an identical match. For zellige shoppers in particular, if variations and imperfections are not part of your” look” and you still want zellige, we encourage you to buy 30% more to enable you to cherry pick the tile.
- Make sure you know what you’re getting. This is where you need to get honest with yourself and do the research:
- Is the tile going to give you the effect you really want? Many people love the look of our zellige, but discover that it’s far more varied in terms of color, size, and texture than they’d thought. If variation and tone are what you want, go for our more “characterful” tiles. If a little more uniformity is what you’re looking for, we have you covered there, too. There’s information on variation on every product page. You can also explore our tile variation guide here, and our primer on white tile here.
- Is the tile appropriate for your use (indoor/outdoor, near heat sources, used in a shower? Check the usage information on every product page.
- Like anything that’s worthwhile, tile needs to be cared for. Read up on how your choice needs to be maintained (and whether you’re likely to be able to commit to that.) You’ll also find information on every product page.
- Do we have enough in stock? Look for that information on every product page.
- How will it need to be installed? In general, we always recommend professional installation, but consider it a must for our heritage and artist collection tiles: our zelliges, cements, terracottas, brick, and stone. Check out the installation hints on each product page, and our installation and maintenance guides here. When in doubt, call your installer and ask how much experience they have with a given type of tile and installation.
- Visit our Cyber Monday page to see if it’s included. Congratulations if it is! If it’s not, don’t rule it out: tile is an investment, something you won’t be changing everyday or even next year. Don’t be afraid to stretch your original budget if you possibly can. Keep in mind overages, any shipping costs, and installation.
- Order as soon as you’ve done your homework. Don’t dally. Whether or not it’s included in our event, our stock is always limited. And we really hate to disappoint. (It might help to have a backup choice.)
- Double check your order before checking out. There will be no refunds or adjustments.
- Be prepared for shipping delays. The supply chain and shipping challenges are real. Lead times are estimates only.
- Prepare for delivery. Receiving tile is a little more complicated than receiving an order of shoes. Read our delivery FAQs here.
From there, it’s up to you. We wish we could tell you that installation will be a breeze, but we all know that it can be a bit of an adventure. Keeping an open mind–and a sense of humor–helps.
What we can tell you is that your tile–carefully sourced, made by hand, and handled with care–will give you joy for years and decades to come. Every time you look at your backsplash, your bathroom, your floor, or wall, think about the people it took to get it there, the tradition and skill they represent, and the care you took to choose and install it. We hope you enjoy it.